The minute I laid eyes on the box call I knew something was different. It was different than any I had ever seen. As soon as I stroked the lid across the box and sent out a few sweet notes I knew the box call was truly unique. But the proof of the pudding is in the tasting and it had not yet been put to the test. After taking the call to the woods and tangling with a gobbler or two, I was a believer!

Master craftsman and turkey call maker Albert Paul, formerly of Greenville, recently moved to the Martin community in northwest Lauderdale County with his wife Faye. I had never met Mr. Paul when I first started using one of his calls a few years ago. However, I was intrigued by the man who had produced such a fine piece of craftsmanship. Not only was it beautiful, but it was also in tune and very easy to use. And better than that it was great for calling old longbeards.

Paul began hunting turkeys as a teenager in the Mississippi delta. Over time his love of turkey hunting carried him all over the country. Through his many travels and hunting excursions, he befriended Neil Cost of Greenwood South Carolina. After hunting with Cost many years, he learned the basics of call making and began producing his own around 1985. Later, in 1992 he sold his first call.

Precision tools

As both a coach and math teacher familiar with numbers, Paul took a good idea and made it better. He designed and made each piece of his equipment to exact specifications, so that each call would be precise and true. While most of his calls share the same dimensions, he makes them using an almost endless variety of wood. If you want a special call made out of a certain type of wood, then he can make it, if the wood is available. His favorite types of wood for making calls are poplar, cedar, mahogany and walnut. The walnut will usually be the striker, or top portion of the box.

Paul has taken the Royal Slam of turkeys, which includes the Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriams, Gould and Osceola, while traveling around the country. He loves turkey hunting so much that he and Ms. Faye traveled over 6,000 miles hunting turkeys around the country a couple of years ago. He started in Texas and hunted on through South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado.

While he was just looking for a good turkey call to hunt with originally, his love of the sport led him into the call making. And now that Paul is retired from teaching, he spends his time making calls and hunting turkeys. Unlike mass manufacturers that make calls for the money, Paul does it for the enjoyment. Nowadays each call takes him about two to three hours to make, if he could do it start to finish in one day that is.

However, the process of making a call occurs over several days in several stages.

“ My whole objective is to make a call for the hunter, one they can kill turkeys with,” stated Paul. And he never makes calls to offer for sale, preferring instead to taking orders from individual hunters. In that way he can make just what they want. He has made upwards of eleven hundred calls in a year, but usually averages about four to five hundred calls a year now. And of course each call is hand tuned and inscribed with the details of where the wood came from, who it’s made for and the date of manufacture.

Different grades

While Paul’s field grade calls are just the ticket for hunters, he also makes a signature call that displays the artwork of renowned wildlife artist Bob Tompkins. While hunters around the country continually request and purchase his calls, he has made some for people in Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and even in Ireland! One of his more famous customers was nationally known basketball coach Bobby Knight.

The Meridian area is truly blessed to have some of the best people to be found anywhere in the world and it was an honor for me to have met Mr. Paul and Ms. Faye. We are indeed fortunate that they chose our area as their new home. They have been welcomed with open arms from people in the surrounding area.

“After we moved into the community, everyone made us feel welcome and right at home,” exclaimed Paul.

If you’re interested in meeting Albert Paul and learning about his turkey calls or his custom manufacturing process, give him a call at (601)-737-5911 or check him out online at Albert@Paulscalls.com. If you are a turkey hunter, you’ll be glad you did.

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